When he finally arrived, he stood at a podium in a small auditorium and delivered a well-written speech about heroism, greatness, and tragedy. At the end of his speech, he asked the children in the audience to define the word "tragedy."
"Well," one girl replied, "If my mommy ran over my dog, Rover, that would be a tragedy!"
The President smiled at the little girl and said, "No, sweetie. That would be an accident! Can anyone else give it a try?" Nervous laughter rose form the audience.
A little boy raised his hand and said, "I know! I know! If our bus driver ran off of a cliff and killed everyone!"
The President shook his head and said, "No son. That would be a great loss, not a tragedy! Does anyone else know of a good example of a tragedy?" Some nervous murmuring could be heard from the adults.
A small girl raised her hand and said, "Well, Mr. President, if you and the First Lady were in Air Force One and it was hit by a missile and blown to smithereens, most people would think of that as a tragedy!"
A sense of relief came over those assembled.
"Very good, young lady," the President said. "And what was your reasoning for that answer?"
"Well," she said. "If you were shot out of the sky, it would not be an accident and it certainly would not be a great loss!"
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